Life, After by Sarah Darer Littman

PAYA book 3#!

I bought this book at PAYA because: 1) the premise of it sounded super interesting, and 2) I’m a sucker for judging books by their covers, and this one had a pretty rocking cover. It was also pretty short, which sometimes is a good thing in a book. Sometimes, I want to read a Harry Potter size book (well, actually, I would read those books every day of my life if I could), and sometimes I want to read a book that is under 300 pages. I needed to balance short books with long books when I buy books, so this one was a nice tally for the short books side.

**I forgot to mention this in the “Things I have done in between reviewing books” section on my last post: I saw Argo AND IT WAS GLORIOUS. That movie is going to be nominated for so many awards, let me just prepare you. You don’t want to be the one who is like “well, yeah, it got excellent reviews and is nominated for 7093248029347 Academy Awards and just Ben Affleck/John Goodman/Alan Arkin, but I just didn’t feel like it). That doesn’t make you really popular at parties. **

If you like: learning about other cultures/religions, Argentina, Judaism, adapting to new environments, New York, history, drama, romance, learning new languages, and making new friends, you will like this book.

Dani has lived in Argentina her entire life, but lately, life hasn’t been so easy. It started when a terrorist attack killed her aunt and unborn cousin on her seventh birthday, and has continued with the country’s struggling economy. Dani’s father lost his job, and the family has been struggling to get by ever since. Dani tries her best to help her parents by watching her little sister, Sarita, after school, and preparing meals, but she truly wishes she could just be spending time with Roberto, her boyfriend. As life becomes practically unlivable for Dani’s family in Argentina, they decide to move to America and start a new life. Dani doesn’t want to be separated from Roberto, who is moving to Miami, but she eventually realizes that moving to America may mean she doesn’t have to live in poverty anymore, and maybe her father will be happy like he was before. When Dani arrives in New York, she realizes that her dreams aren’t all coming true: she has to wear donated clothes, go to a school where she can barely understand the language, and her papa is still depressed. Her life improves when she meets Jon, who is somewhat of an outcast; Jessica, the popular girl in school; and Brian, who shows an interest in Dani and makes her laugh. Maybe life in America won’t be so bad after all, and maybe Dani will find a life better than she dreamed of…

This book was really cute, sad, and touching all at once. You feel sad for Dani after the death of her aunt and cousin, and at how depressed her father is. You feel happy for the family when they move to America, but disappointed that they’re struggling to fit in. You feel happy when Dani makes friends, and someone who may be more than a friend. You also feel connected to her, because she lived through a terrorist attack that touched Argentinians the way 9/11 touched Americans. I had the same problem at the beginning with the Spanish words with no translation, but that’s easy to move past. I really liked this book!

Pages: 278
Genre: Young Adult, Drama, Romance, Family
Sequel?: No, but Sarah Darer Littman has written other books, which you can check out here!

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